Monday, November 22, 2010

East Side, West Side, Give up or Surrender

This a short week, hopefully filled with family and friends near the end of it, but there's still the bump and grind of daily governance and if you think bump & grind isn't an appropriate description for what goes on sometimes, you need to get out more.

The Redevelopment Agency which normally meets the last Monday of the month (i.e., next Monday) won't be, and instead is holding a special meeting this afternoon at five in Room 210 of City Hall. The draft minutes of the October meeting suggest the discussion on Brownfields is continuing though I'm not sure I understand what the consensus is. I wasn't sure what to make of most of item VII, 'citizen comments' since some are from folks whom I assumed, because I saw them at Saturday workshops, were involved in the downtown development planning process. Now, not so much....

Tuesday afternoon at 3:30 in the Central Office conference room of the Norwich Public Schools (across from the Norwichtown Green) is a regular meeting of the Board of Education's Policy Committee. A review of their October meeting minutes leads me to conclude they've hired a recording secretary whom they must pay by the word. If that's the case, I salute their frugality. If we're gonna edit and condense, let's take a page from the RSC, okay?

Also Tuesday, at 5:30, the Public Parking Commission has a special meeting at 5:30 in the Buckingham Memorial in place of the meeting slated for last Tuesday that was cancelled. Parking (and/or the ease and access to it) in downtown Norwich remains an issue, judging from the September meeting minutes, despite ongoing efforts to address short and long term concerns. Sometimes one man's ceiling is another man's floor but let's agree now that any effort to resurrect the Chelsea District will require casting a large enough net to include volunteer panels like the Historic District Commission, the Redevelopment Agency and the Public Parking Commission.

At 7 PM, in their offices on the New London Turnpike, it's a special meeting of the Norwich Golf Course Authority who are continuing their negotiations with their facility manager and course pro, if I'm reading the agenda correctly. Regular meetings of the Harbor Advisory Commission as well as the Board of Public Utilities Commission and the Sewer Authority have all been cancelled. Actually, the latter two have been rescheduled to next Monday, the 29th, at six PM in the Norwich Public Utilities' building on Golden Street.

The municipal website schedule for Wednesday is a mish-mash as there's a listing for a Golf Course Authority meeting that seems to have taken place the day previously-a Recreation Advisory Board meeting that, elsewhere on the website, is listed as cancelled as well as a listing for a Board of Education Building and Space Committee meeting that the Board's website indicates is next Tuesday, the 30th. And meanwhile I get annoyed when more members of the public don't attend meetings....I just crack myself up.

Friday afternoon, it's a hurry home early, hurry on home situation, for the annual Lighting of City Hall beginning at 4:30 (and the back story is almost as interesting as the event itself) especially since an on-0line reader wondered why there's no collection of canned goods to benefit local food pantries. There can be (pun intended), if we each bring something-so thanks for that really good suggestion "Norwich Taxpayer and let's all promise to do just that Friday, okay?

My family always attends because that's when we purchase the Norwich Holiday Ornament. This year we'll bring a canned good or two (or three) for those who need our help since we're meeting neighbors downtown and neighbors help one another. You should come, too, if you're near Norwich on Friday (canned good donation optional). We have a lot of fun and I promise to NOT sing out loud which will please my wife and daughter, as well as everyone around us. We have more to be thankful for than many of us think so as you sit down with family and friends this week to count your blessings, think about absent friends and their role in making wherever you live the best hometown it can ever be.
-bill kenny

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